Oct. 31, 2009

TUCSON, Ariz. - Washington volleyball got back in the win column with a crucial road win against 18th-ranked Arizona tonight at the McKale Center. The Huskies (18-2, 8-2 Pac-10) lost the first set for the first time all year, but stormed back to take the match 18-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-19.

Washington snapped a two-match road skid and completed the season sweep over Arizona (15-6, 4-6 Pac-10). Junior Kindra Carlson had 18 kills to lead the offense. Senior Jill Collymore had a great all-around night with 14 kills, 13 digs, four blocks and an ace. Senior Airial Salvo had a double-double of her own with 13 kills and 11 digs. Tiffany Owens led Arizona with 15 kills.

Things didn't start out so well for the Dawgs. Arizona outhit the Huskies, .270-.056 in the first set, and opened up a 12-7 lead that forced a UW timeout. Twice the Huskies pulled within two points, but Arizona pulled away again late to grab the set, 25-18.

Trailing for the first time all year after the first set, UW responded admirably. Carlson and Collymore began to heat up on offense, combining for 13 kills in the second set alone with just three errors. With the set tied at 11, Washington went on a 6-1 run that force Arizona's first timeout. Collymore had two kills and an ace in the run, and Salvo had a finish and block assist along with sophomore Bianca Rowland. With UW up 17-12, Arizona fought back with four-straight points to get within one, but Salvo broke the string with a put-away. Carlson earned back-to-back kills to crack the set open again to 21-17 and UA took its last timeout. Carlson's sixth kill of the set brought up set point, and Collymore finished it with her seventh.

The teams traded three-point runs in the third set, with UW taking an 8-5 lead, Arizona tying it up at 8-8, and then UW going back on top, 11-8. The Huskies extended that run three more points and Arizona needed a break with UW holding a 14-9 edge. The Wildcats wouldn't get closer than four points the rest of the way, with the Dawgs rolling on junior Jenna Hagglund's serve late in the set. Salvo had three kills over a four-point span, all assisted by Hagglund, and earned a bevy of set points up 24-15. Arizona saved three before Carlson put one down to give UW the 25-18 win. Salvo was deadly in the set with five kills and no errors on eight swings for a .625 attack percentage. Washington's overall offense continued to improve, hitting .355 in the set to .114 for Arizona.

Washington harassed the Cats to an 8-4 lead in the fourth set, prompting an Arizona timeout. The Wildcats responded with three points out of the break to force UW to call time. Salvo snapped the run and gave the Huskies the 9-7 edge. With Salvo serving, Carlson terminated the next point, and Salvo followed with an ace to make it 11-7. Rowland polished one point off and Collymore tallied a solo block immediately after for a 15-10 UW lead. Washington continued to side out efficiently for the rest of the set. Arizona came closest at 21-18, but then committed a costly service error, and the Huskies capitalized with a Collymore kill on the next point, and a UA miscue that brought up match point. Yet another kill from Jill ended the set and the match, 25-19. Washington again killed a third of its attempts, hitting .333 to .211 for the `Cats.

The Huskies will get a nice treat with an off-day on Saturday before taking on Arizona State on Sunday at 12 noon in Tempe. The Sun Devils earned a big upset over the 21st-ranked WSU Cougars tonight.